The Jakarta Post
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has said it is important to engage men and boys in efforts to stop gender-based violence and to solve sexual and reproductive health issues.
'Evidence demonstrated that male engagement plays a core role in addressing gender inequality. By involving men in policy and program discussions, we can confront the underlying gender norms and values that lead to discriminatory behaviors,' said UNFPA Indonesia representative Jose Ferraris.
He was speaking during the launch of a pilot initiative to engage men and boys in Papua on sexual and reproductive health issues and on the prevention of gender-based violence in Jayapura, on Wednesday.
'We can challenge the structures that reinforce male advantage, and strengthen those that support gender equality,' Ferraris said.
'By engaging men we learn that when it comes to encouraging family planning, the reproductive health of women, decreasing the rates of violence against women and changing old conceptions about masculinity ' men matter,' he went on.
Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yembise delivered her keynote speech during the launch of the initiative, entitled Men Care Papua, UNFPA Indonesia jointly developed with the non-profit organization Rutgers World Population Foundation (WPF) Indonesia.
Under the Men Care Papua initiative, men are encouraged to play an equal role as caregivers to improve child and maternal health and promote sexual and reproductive health.
'The approach also encourages men to take responsibility for an equal division of labour in their households in order to encourage them to interact with their partners with an attitude of mutual respect, promoting relationships that are equitable, healthy and free from violence,' says UNFPA. (ebf)(++++)